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Lyft Surges After Better-Than-Expected Revenue Results

Lyft faced a holiday COVID surge hits ridership, but the company sees second-quarter 'inflection'.
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Lyft  (LYFT)  posted better-than-expected revenue for the fourth quarter and offered an optimistic outlook for recovery as COVID vaccines increase and the impact of cost-cutting takes hold.

The ride-hailing company said fourth-quarter revenue came in at $569.9 million, vs. $1 billion in the same period a year ago. Lyft had been expected to report revenue of $560.3 million, based on a FactSet survey of 23 analysts. The company said it lost $150 million in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Analysts had been expecting an adjusted loss in EBITDA of $185 million. The company didn’t break out an earnings-per-share figure for the quarter.

“In the fourth quarter, we successfully eliminated $360 million in fixed costs on an annualized basis versus our original 2020 plan,” said Brian Roberts, the chief financial officer of Lyft, in a statement. “While the first quarter of 2021 continues to be uncertain primarily due to COVID-19 headwinds, based on current recovery expectations, we should experience a growth inflection beginning in the second quarter that strengthens in the second half of the year.”

Lyft said it grew revenue per active rider 2.3% to $45.40 in the fourth quarter. 

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Lyft rival Uber  (UBER)  is set to report results Wednesday. Uber is expected to report a loss of $864.9 million, or 53 cents a share, on sales of $3.4 billion, based on a FactSet survey of 29 analysts. 

Shares of Lyft and Uber have surged since November when both companies spent heavily on advertising to passing a California ballot initiative exempting their drivers from being classified as employees entitled to state labor law protections. 

Shares of Lyft rose sharply in after-hours action Tuesday, gaining $5.25, or 9.8%, to $58.89. In the regular session, the stock gained 0.4%.

Lyft was rising again Wednesday morning premarket, rising 10.74% to $59.95.